Indigenous Top Ten

October 5, 2022

Schools host online discussions, workshops, ceremonies in honour of NDTR

Several schools in the K-12 and postsecondary sectors held online workshops and released free resources in addition to hosting events on and near campus to commemorate the National Day of Truth & Reconciliation. New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, the Manitoba Institute of Trades & Technology, St Mary’s University, Langara College, and other institutions have each shared online resources such as the Elder in the Making videos, the Wabanaki Collection, CBC’s Beyond 94 progress monitor website, and links to reports and texts related to residential schools. Others, such as Maskwacis Cultural College and York University shared live streams and recordings of talks held on campus. At schools from the Qualicum School District, Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, the Algoma District School Board, St Albert and Sturgeon County, and more, students and staff also wore orange shirts to commemorate Orange Shirt Day. NBCCD | MITT | StMU | Langara Maskwacis | York | PQB News (QSD) | Soo Today | St Albert Today (National)

SSBA Indigenous Education Framework approved by PACSD

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division’s board of education has approved the Indigenous Education Responsibility Framework created by the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA). The framework was designed as a pilot project in 2021-22, and SSBA now wishes to expand its use across the province to help Indigenous students improve their educational attainment. While school divisions are not required to adopt the framework, PACSD Education Director Lorel Trumier said that the school board did so because of the responsibility it has to its students. “It’s about wanting to get better in seeking change that ultimately will have an impact on all of our students, including our First Nations and Metis and Inuit students,” explained Trumier, who noted that the SSBA’s framework and self-evaluations will help educate all students at PACSD. “[SSBA] are developing a framework here where we can build on our knowledge and our strategies and move from just the lower levels of work to higher, more meaningful levels of work.” Nation Talk | Prince Albert Daily Herald (SK)

Baie-Comeau develops French-Innu lexicon for college studies

Cégep de Baie-Comeau has completed the development of a specialized lexicon of college studies in French-Innu. The digital tool was designed to improve accessibility for students whose first language is Innu. It contains definitions, illustrations, and pronunciation guides for over 1,350 common terms used across nine different college program areas. The lexicon was supported by funding from the Government of Quebec. It was developed through the efforts of translators and Pessamit community members Hélène St-Onge, Adélina Bacon and Louise Canapé. Baie-Comeau (1) | Baie-Comeau (2) (QC)

Kluane First Nation to receive new school in Burwash Landing

Kluane First Nation, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Yukon have announced that a new public school will be built in Burwash Landing to replace the aging Kluane Lake School. The school will be named Kêts’ádań Kų̀, which means “house of learning” in Southern Tutchone. Yukon Education Minister Jeanie McLean said that moving the school into the community will honour a request from Kluane First Nation. “Education has been a priority for Kluane First Nation for generations, and a new school in Burwash Landing is the culmination of decades of tireless effort by many Kluane First Nation citizens,” said Kluane First Nation Chief Bob Dickson. “The Kêts’ádań Kų̀ will be infused with KFN language, tradition and culture, and will serve the broader community as a whole for years to come.” Newswire | Yukon News (YK)

RRC Polytech, UWaterloo commit to reconciliation, Indigenization with local community

Red River College Polytechnic and the University of Waterloo both took steps to strengthen their relationship with local Indigenous communities during Truth and Reconciliation Week. RRC Polytech has signed the Indigenous Education Protocol, which commits the polytechnic to actions such as prioritizing Indigenous education, establishing Indigenous-centred holistic services, and implementing Indigenous traditions in the polytechnic’s curriculum and learning approaches. UWaterloo held a formal Commitment Ceremony where President Vivek Goel emphasized the university's commitment to understanding Indigenous history and its responsibility in the reconciliation process. The Commitment Ceremony included a sunrise ceremony; a Cedar Circle; and a pipe ceremony in which Elder Myeengun Henry, the Indigenous knowledge keeper at UWaterloo's Faculty of Health, gave Goel the name of Ogiima (leader) and gifted him an eagle feather and two wampum belts. RRC | UWaterloo | The Record (MB | ON)

Manitoba teachers increasingly focusing on authentically Indigenizing classrooms

K-12 schools are increasingly incorporating elders and knowledge keepers into their classrooms, reports the Winnipeg Free Press, as the demand for Indigenous knowledge to share with students has skyrocketed. April Waters, who oversees Indigenous academic and community support at St James-Assiniboia School Division, said that teachers’ attitudes towards truth and reconciliation has changed over the last decade with many putting thought into how they can authentically Indigenize their classrooms, increase Indigenous representation and voice, and deliver lessons. “For a long time, (my job involved) a lot of kicking-in doors — for lack of a nicer way of putting it, and trying to convince teachers that this is important,” said Waters. “Over the last 10 years, that conversation has really shifted in schools.” The demand for teachings has been so high that Seven Oaks School Division and the Manitoba Teachers’ Society partnered to publish a lesson plan that uses videos of Anishinaabe elder Mary Courchene, who has been Seven Oak’s elder-in-residence for seven years. Winnipeg Free Press | Eassy Way (MB)

ULethbridge announces official opening of Iikaisskini (Low Horn) Gathering Centre, partners with Blood Tribe on health service delivery

The University of Lethbridge has made two significant announcements related to reconciliation and Indigenization on campus. The university unveiled the Iikaisskini (Low Horn) Gathering Centre, which provides a welcoming space for Indigenous students and the campus community to learn, celebrate, and participate in ceremonies. The name Iikaisskini was chosen in honour of Dr Leroy Little Bear, and recognizes his contributions to ULethbridge and Indigenous Peoples. “[I]f you can picture a buffalo with its head down in attack mode, that's what the low horn really refers to,” said Little Bear. ULethbridge also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Blood Reserve to expand health service delivery through enhanced education, research, and professional training. “We want to ensure we continue to build the capacity of our workforce and create a strong foundation to serve our members,” said Blood Tribe Department of Health CEO Derrick Fox. ULethbridge (1) | ULethbridge (2) (AB)

Offensive worksheet prompts audit, discipline at Niagara-on-the-Lake school

A teacher at St Davids Public School in Niagara-on-the-Lake is facing discipline after distributing a colouring sheet with an offensive caption on it. “You go through a little bit of emotions very quickly,” said Tracee Smith, a member of the Missanabie Cree First Nation and founder of the educational program Outside Looking In, who discovered the handout crumpled up in her four-year-old son’s backpack. “We still have teachers using this material and not realizing how hurtful it can be. You'll hear the term 'Indian' used in very racist, hurtful ways from mostly non-Indigenous people, from the past.” School principal Carl Glauser sent an email to parents apologising for the material after the handout was reported to the school and the District School Board of Niagara, and CBC reports that the principal is conducting an audit of all materials used in that particular grade. The handout was reportedly not an approved part of the school curriculum and was brought in as supplementary material by the teacher. CBC | Thorold Today (ON)

New programs launched by SFU, Parkland and YTC, YorkU and ADSB

Several institutions have launched new programs and courses over the past two weeks. Simon Fraser University established a Master of Arts in Indigenous Languages and Linguistics (INLL) program that will provide the skills and knowledge needed to combat the linguicide faced by Indigenous peoples. The two-year program will involve cohorts formed around particular languages and will use Indigenous ways of enquiry and linguistic analysis, feature Indigenous community participation, and provide mentorship opportunities with Elders. Parkland College, Yorkton Tribal Council (YTC), and Indigenous Services Canada partnered to deliver an Intro to Water Operators program. The 19-week program is designed for both those new to the field of study as well as professionals looking to upskill, and provides foundational training in water and wastewater disciplines. York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering and Algoma District School Board partnered to hold an Indigenous engineering, technology, and innovation program over the summer. Nine ADSB students took part in the inaugural run of the program and learned about applying Indigenous knowledge and processes to create a project or design solution. SFU | Parkland | Soo Today (YorkU, ADSB) (BC | SK | ON)

FNEC, La Boîte Rouge VIF, CREO partner to develop Indigenous-based learning materials for QC schools

The First Nations Education Council (FNEC) has partnered with La Boîte Rouge VIF and CREO on the development of Indigenous-based learning materials for schools in Quebec in keeping with the TRC Call to Action #21. La Boîte Rouge VIF and CREO will consult with First Nations from across the province to develop an understanding of how QC’s school system could be improved. La Boîte Rouge VIF will analyse the feedback and make recommendations on how First Nations content can be incorporated into the provincial curriculum; CREO will support the development of a digital platform that will give QC schools access to existing content, produce authentic materials, and engage educators in promoting Indigenous perspectives within the curriculum. The collaboration will focus on enhancing student retention and academic success. Nation Talk (QC)